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Steamed broccoli in a saucepan with a steamer basket inside.

How to Steam Broccoli (how long to steam broccoli)

  • Author: Erin Jensen
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American


How to Steam Broccoli – learn how to steam broccoli with this simple recipe! Stove top and microwave options included! So easy!


  • 23 cups broccoli florets, trimmed and washed
  • water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • butter (optional)


  1. Place steamer basket or colander in the bottom of a saucepan.
  2. Add enough water to cover the bottom of the pan (approx. 1/2 cup).
  3. Place broccoli florets inside. Place cover on top and bring to a boil.
  4. Boil 2-3 minutes and then open and stir to toss the broccoli. Cover let boil another 2-3 minutes or until the broccoli is firm but tender. If you want your broccoli even softer simply continue steaming for 1 minute intervals until it has reached your desired tenderness.
  5. Remove from heat and drain excess water. 
  6. Serve as-is, with salt and pepper, butter or use in your favorite recipe. 


  • Microwave Method: place 1/4-1/2 cup water in a microwave safe bowl; add broccoli and cover with plate; microwave on HIGH 2 1/2 – 4 minutes or until broccoli is tender but firm; drain excess water and serve. 
  • Steamer Basket: if you don’t have a steamer basket you can just skip it and place the broccoli right in the water – I do it all the time and it works just fine! Or you can use a colander. 
  • Storage: store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. 

Keywords: how to steam broccoli, how long to steam broccoli